7 Underused Brainstorming Techniques to Get Your Creative Juices Flowing

Brainstorming is the age-old technique for generating new ideas, solving problems, decision making and even inspiring creative thinking. Sometimes though, it is not that easy to get the expected outcome of a brainstorming session.

When this happens, you should go beyond the traditional brainstorming techniques and adopt some new methods like the ones below.

Concept Maps

A concept map is a visual tool and can be used to structure a brainstorming session.

It helps organize ideas and illustrate relationships between them.

Put down the topic you are brainstorming at the top, and get your team to come up with any and all ideas related to it while you put them down under the main topic.

Then connect each idea with links that have labels on them to describe how each idea is connected to the other. As you complete your concept map you’ll have an overview of the issue at hand that will help you come up with a solution pretty quickly.

Concept Map Example on Concept Mapping

Brainwriting

Sometimes, when everyone is speaking at once, trying to put their own idea out there, the introverts with great ideas will shy away from participating in the discussion.

And if their idea is actually good, you’d be missing a good opportunity to arrive at a solution.

Brainwriting allows you to overcome this issue, as in this method you give everyone in the group a chance to write down their idea on a sheet of paper.

This way you will not only be encouraging everyone to share their opinion, but this technique will also give more time to the participants to come up with ideas that would never have occurred to them within a larger setting.

Rapid Ideation

This technique uses a time limit as a catalyst for generating great ideas.

In this technique, the moderator of the brainstorming session provides the necessary information on the topic, budget, deadline etc. and set a time limit for the participants to write down as many ideas as possible around the topic.

While they shouldn’t try to filter their ideas, they can use any medium to mark them down, be it on a paper, whiteboard or on Google Sheets; basically, anything that they can use to get their creative juices flowing.

The session could go on for just a few minutes, or an hour depending on the topic that is being brainstormed.

Gap Filling

This is basically to get your team to consider what you need to do to get from your current position to your goal. In this method, it is important to set a relevant and attainable goal.

During the session, get the team to figure out what resources, how much time and what methods you should use to get to that particular goal.

As you fill the gap from point A to point B, you’ll get to paint a clear picture of what needs to be done.

SWOT Analysis

A SWOT analysis helps you look into the strengths and weaknesses of your company and figure out what opportunities and threats you might be facing within the industry.

Analyzing these four conditions in a SWOT analysis example like the one below will help you come up with better-informed ideas for the issues you have at hand.

New SWOT Analysis Template 6 (1).png

Starbursting

Instead of directly finding answers, in this brainstorming technique, you get your team to ask as many questions about the topic as possible. The questions should cover the who, what, where, why and how related to the topic at hand.

Questioning an idea thus does not only help understand it better, but it also helps you ensure that there’s no risk involved in taking an action by allowing you to consider all aspects of it.

Rolestorming

Here you take on the identity of someone else, say your CEO, a celebrity, an expert in your field or even your client, and assume what they would do if they were faced with the issue you have or what they would do if they were to take action.

This technique will help you think out of the box while helping you overcome any anxiety that you may have regarding expressing an idea that you think would be not accepted. This technique is an ideal solution for those introverts in your team.

Reverse Thinking

Try to think of what everyone else in your position would do, and then do the opposite. This method, like the rolestorming method, will help you come up with unique ideas.

 

Not having a great time coming up with new ideas from your brainstorming sessions? Try these techniques out and see how they change the game for you.

Any other different brainstorming techniques that you use? Do let us know in the comment section below.

 

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3 Tricks to Get Recruiters to Pay Attention to You

It can be hard It is hard to get a job these days.

There is an abundance of workers for a handful of jobs, and the competition is simply awful out there.

The only way to survive and get the job you want is to be different…stand out from the others.

To stand out from the others, you need to have your very own unique brand. A unique personal brand will put you in a favorable position with recruiters who may run a background check on you before calling you for an interview. It could be one of your assets.

Building a unique personal brand can be done in several ways. Follow these steps, and you’ll be called to job interviews even when you are not actively looking for a job!

Infographic Resumes

Infographic Resume Template

Unlike the traditional text-based resumes, infographic resumes tweak things up by adding the element of visual into it. What’s great about including visuals in your resume is that it increases your chances of standing out from the rest.

Like in the example above, visual resumes put the important details, like your achievements, past experiences, and skills that make you an ideal candidate for the position front and center. Its purpose is not simply to be visually appealing, but also to make it easy for the reader to review.

Plus, infographic resumes let you show off your creativity, and if you are applying for a creative job like a designer or a digital marketer, your visual resume itself could serve as an attestation of your talent.

But it may not fit all types of jobs. For example, if you are applying for a legal position, a visual resume may not be in your best interest. And if the place you are applying to won’t appreciate an infographic resume, you can include it in your LinkedIn profile.

If you are doing an infographic resume, then it is important to do it right. To do it right you need to

  • Select the correct types of charts, graphs or diagrams to represent the different types of data. For example, to represent skills you can use a column or bar chart which will allow you to convey your level of expertise in them.
  • Keep it simple, concise and easy to read. Or in other words, avoid visual clutter and complex visualizations that will require time for recruiters to understand
  • Pick a wise color scheme and not to go with a multitude of colors that would be too distracting. Stick to 1-3 colors of which you can use different tones throughout the template and a white background.
  • Have a clear narrative to your visual resume. Like with any other traditional resume, have an order to the way you present information.

An Active LinkedIn Profile

Do you know how I got my current job? Yes, it’s through LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is the largest professional network out there, and it is a great platform for professionals to highlight their skills, achievements, and expertise, and build their personal brand. And more and more recruiters use it to hunt eligible candidates today.

While many recruiters run your name by LinkedIn before calling you for an interview, it is important to maintain a professional presence within the network.

  • Have a completed profile. Don’t leave any field unfilled, especially the basic information. And keep them updated. Some of the details you need to pay extra attention to on your LinkedIn profile are the professional headline, your industry, expertise, skills, and awards.
  • LinkedIn is for professionals, therefore use a professional profile picture. And you can further reinforce your personal brand with a relevant background photo.
  • Your summary should expand on what is indicated with your headline. It should also focus on your expertise and your career experience. Make sure it is easy to read and avoid making space for meaningless jargon.
  • LinkedIn Pulse, LinkedIn’s very own publishing platform, lets you share your posts with the network. This helps increase your reach, gain more visibility and grow your influence.
  • Join LinkedIn communities that are relevant to your field. These communities are made of likeminded professionals – and who knows, your future employer might be a member. Maintain an active presence by initiating discussions or participating in them. You can also share your LinkedIn Pulse posts with the communities to increase engagement.
  • Get recommendations from people you have worked with. If there are special skills you want to be highlighted, let them know when you contact them.

Being active on LinkedIn thus can help you land your next job.

Blog/ Vlog/ Social Media Pages

You’ll be able to show off your skills further on any of the platforms above. Whether it is a personal blog, an online portfolio, a channel on YouTube or a Facebook page, remember to focus on your expertise and create something of value to your audience.

A strong online presence can make you appear as a promising candidate. And a strong online presence can come in the shape of a blog or site that gets huge traffic, or a YouTube channel that has plenty of subscribers, or a community page or an account on any social media platform with followers.

If you are expecting to integrate these platforms into your personal brand building strategy, remember to always create something that can highlight your skills and present yourself as an expert in the industry.

Some of these techniques might take time, but in the long run, they will serve you well, especially when it comes to building your personal brand and positioning yourself as an ideal candidate for the job you apply to. And it’s never too late to start or try.